The outdated, unworkable “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law will likely be repealed in the next few days. As a Christian conservative broadcaster, attorney, and activist who recently discussed DADT and my opinion about it on-air, I can say that for the most part, social conservatives are not enraged about the end of DADT. In fact, the grassroots has not been engaged on this issue for a long time.
I wrote about this previously for On Faith, arguing that DADT does not violate the Constitution and could be defended in court. But after much public debate and a repeal imminent, it has become clear that there is no reason for DADT; there are more important issues.
This is not the debate about the definition of marriage. If someone meets the physical requirements to join our Armed Forces, the military’s top brass believe that serving openly poses no problems, and the man or woman follows the military code of conduct, Americans should welcome their decision to serve the United States.
An attempt to satisfy moderates by President Clinton in ’93; DADT was doomed from the beginning. Close bonds form in the military. How can we expect people serving long tours of duty and fighting two wars to act as if their personal life at home does not exist when talking to their co-defenders of freedom? If you’re concerned about problems developing, remember that the military has strict rules on troop relationships and harassment. Those rules won’t disappear with the repeal of DADT.
We live in a new time. As a young member of the “religious right,” if a gay friend or family member came to me and said they wanted to join the military, I would gladly be the first to congratulate and thank them. I do not believe they should be barred from serving because of their sexual orientation.
When DADT is repealed, social conservatives will continue to be strong supporters of the US military – encouraging sons and daughters to serve, praising active duty service members, and honoring Veterans and those who sacrificed their life for the country.
This opinion may shock some of on the left and anger some on the right.
To conservatives, I hope you know that after speaking with many vets and active duty servicemen and women, it is clear to me that the majority are not troubled by gays and lesbians making up a portion, and a small one at that, of the military.
To the left, I hope you rethink assumptions about the religious right, specifically those of us coming up through the ranks of the movement.
Now, let’s get back to debating the most important issues facing our country.